gradschool, musicals, workstyle

In token of the quality of the last two weeks since posting,

I would like to quote some lyrics from my second-grade musical (by Mrs. Plaisance and Mr. Firestein, I believe–they wrote an original musical for the class!)

Monday, soccer practice after school,
I play tennis Tuesday cause I’m cool,
Wednesday jazz and Thursday bowling team,
So by Friday, I just want to scream.

Busy, busy, busy,
Through the hectic week–
I’d rather watch the monkeys
Playing hide-and-seek.
Here’s a solution, I know what to do–
I’ll make my very own backyard zoo!

Time to myself is merely minimal;
I just want to talk to the animals!

Busy, busy, busy,
Through the hectic week–
I’d rather watch the monkeys
Playing hide-and-seek.
Here’s a solution, I know what to do–
I’ll make my very own backyard zoo!

A backyard zoo, or something like it, is certainly indicated. Busy does not begin to describe it.

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gradschool, workstyle

I had a scare

when I thought, last week, that I had submitted a critical writing sample essay to an online application with an incorrectly formatted Works Cited page. I couldn’t find, anywhere on either laptop, the correctly formatted version. Then I thought of downloading the document from the online application, where, to my great relief, it still lived in its correct form. I was not only able to confirm that I had submitted the right version, but also re-download and save this version for future submissions. This is a case of technology helping.

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workstyle

I recommend

cooking a Thanksgiving turkey for all procrastinators. The process was so exhausting that it, somehow, brought me to a new state of clarity about my personal goals and style of work. For every day since Turkey 2010 that I have needed to get something done, I have either

(a) realized that I am too tired to do Thing X, and not done it (or worried about it)

(b) woken up early to do Thing X, with a laptop, at a cafe, worked continuously without rushing for several hours, and then stopped.

I have wrestled for years with how to get myself to dwell in either State A or State B, rather than the greatly undesirable

(c) Guilt. Internet.

If only I had known that all I had to do was buy, brine, dry, stuff, and roast a 13-pound turkey in order to achieve this state, I would have done that years ago.

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film, gradschool, workstyle, writing

reporting

back from HP7, part 1, which was appropriately gloomy and isolated. Nice and gray. The Death Eaters’ banquet at the beginning was excellent, as was the entire sequence in the Ministry. I object only to the size of the tent that Harry, Ron, and Hermione had to hang out in. Far too tall and pretty on the inside. (I know, it’s magical, but still–if Ron had had a tent that big, he never would have run away.)

Working–the end-of-semester crunch is crunching–at a friend’s house, on a laptop, on about four things at once–portfolio/thesis draft revisions, two essays, applications–and nothing with great seriousness. (Perhaps I ought to write thank-you cards to all my professors. That seems like the most important thing to do.) Somehow, nothing seems quite as pressing as the turkey did.

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Baltimore, theater, workstyle

weekend update

Last night, working on the grant in the computer lab. Rows and rows of empty workstations. Not a lot of people writing papers on the first weekend of the semester, and the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. I wanted to go to a musical improv session (the Volunteers’ Collective is starting up again) at the Red Room, but I wasn’t done with the writing. Today, I’m still working on it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the last two Parallel Octave sessions. We had unexpected guests at both. Two weeks ago, two kids–brothers, I think–who lived nearby wandered in and ended up playing spontaneous percussion for us. Last week, some actor friends came in–people I did my very first Baltimore chorus workshop with–and one of them brought her sister, who was visiting. Last night, I saw the sister again, and learned that she, like I used to, is living from job to job, from one place to another, and not paying rent.

It’s unreal, but good, that I have a space where people like that can come through and play or act. Kids, or travelers.

Today, I woke up and made pancakes for the week. I’m in the mindset of preparing in advance. Everything has to be done by Friday, when I get on a plane.

There’s a free yoga class at the Hampden Baltimore Yoga Village at 5 pm, and I’m really going to try to get finished in time to go.

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workstyle, writing

two and a half weeks

till TA Training boot camp and the start of the academic year.

As I wind down two large editing projects for work, I have more respect than ever for people who work as editors, day in, day out, throughout their lives. It requires so much care and patience and generosity. I have a tendency to compare everything I like or honor to directing, but it really *is* a lot like directing, to edit something–the best people, I think, manage to do the least of it, or do the most by doing the least. I am not the best people, but I am better for a summer of it.

One project went “to the printers” yesterday–that was very exciting. The other is more of an ongoing deadline. I’ll keep working on it during the semester.

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